There is a translation of a Chinese classic poem that goes like this:

Before my bed, the bright moonlight is shining..

I find it a bit strange to use 'before' there, is it commonly used or is just fine because it gives a poetic style?


Yes, you can. We see what is before our eyes. Our parents tell us to eat what food they place before us. We are daunted by the hurdles that life puts before us. It is quite typical to use "before" in this way.

"Before my bed, the bright moonlight is shining."

You are talking about in front of your bed. That much is clear. No one would misunderstand this to mean, at a moment in time previous to your bed. That makes no sense. There is only one meaning people could and most definitely would draw from this: in front of.

Rest assured. It is okay to use "before" to mean "in front of."


It is not commonly used, but it is fine because it allows for the poem to feel more fluent. Today, we would say "in front of my bed".

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